Dr. Ken Staley's Quarterly Message

Feb 11, 2019 |

Dear colleagues:

I am pleased to share our perspective on 2018 and the path ahead. Our global malaria community wrapped up 2018 with a number of important highlights. We marked the 20th anniversary of the RBM Partnership, celebrated malaria elimination in Paraguay and Uzbekistan, and presented some of the latest advances in malaria research at the ASTMH conference in New Orleans. Over the holidays, we also welcomed the release of the annual World Malaria Report and its discussion of the latest modeled trends in malaria cases and deaths.

Globally, we continue to see progress towards malaria eradication: nearly half of those countries considered malaria endemic in 2000 are now within striking distance of elimination (fewer than 10,000 cases per year). PMI is leading the way forward in high-burden countries, having expanded to five additional focus countries in FY2018 and adding 90 million additional people under its protection. At the same time, the latest World Malaria Report suggests that new tools and strategies will be important if, as a global community, we are to accelerate our journey to eradication.

In this respect, I believe enhanced data collaboration will be central to making even more progress in 2019 and beyond. In 2019, we intend to strengthen international cooperation in data collection, integration, and analysis. We want to ensure all partners are able to act on the latest evidence. Just as importantly, we want to lead by example.

Toward this end, PMI is launching several new initiatives to transform our data utilization cycle and set an example of data-driven decision-making.

  • Quarterly reports: PMI will begin reviewing integrated program data on a quarterly instead of annual basis. This will help ensure we are targeting our interventions with the latest evidence, and reacting to on-the-ground conditions faster.
  • Data sharing technology: Recognizing our data as a public good, we’ve begun developing a single, integrated platform to house all our data and open it for sharing with partners. We hope this will serve as a new model of transparency and collaboration.
  • Harmonizing our efforts with other partners: To ensure our datasets are interoperable with those of others, PMI is working closely with the Global Fund and Gates Foundation to adopt a set of common data definitions across donors. This will enable, for the first time, apples-to-apples comparisons of donor-supported activities, helping to eliminate redundancies and maximize efficiency.

Many of you are involved in one or more of the efforts. As the year progresses, we will continue to update you on progress and other efforts. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in embracing this new push towards data-driven decision-making in malaria. I am confident that, together, our efforts will translate into a remarkable year ahead.

Ken Staley, MD
U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator

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